The culture wars are over and the idiots have won. This is a veteran journalist's caustically funny, righteously angry lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States.
The three Great Premises of Idiot America:
– Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units.
– Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough.
– Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it.
Charles Pierce has led a career-long quest to separate the smart from the pap, and now it's time to try and salvage the Land of the Enlightened, buried somewhere in this new Home of the Uninformed. With his razor-sharp wit and erudite reasoning, Pierce delivers a gut-wrenching, side-splitting lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States and how a country founded on intellectual curiosity has deteriorated into a nation of simpletons more apt to vote for an American Idol contestant than a presidential candidate.
With Idiot America, Pierce's thunderous denunciation is also a secret call to action, as he hopes that, somehow, being intelligent will stop being a stigma and that pinheads will once again be pitied, not celebrated.
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"Pierce shows how the conservative political machine merged with fundamental Christianity and the media to create an anti-intellectual narrative that appeals to people who don't like to read books or think for themselves. The thesis is that the right wing crazies in this country gained influence over people by promoting 2 key ideas: a) if many people believe something, it must be true; and b) lies are truth if people say them loudly enough. With this lens Pierce examines many episodes of craziness in the last 15 years, including: Rush Limbaugh talk radio and Fox news, creationism and attacks on evolution, the Terry Schiavo incident, candidacy of Sarah Palin, attacks on the reality of climate change, the fraudulence of starting a war in Iraq, and the promotion of torture of prisoners. I was afraid the book would be depressing but Pierce's writing has a sense of humor that lightens the story of politics in the 21st century."
Alan (4 out of 5 stars)